Fancy a go at making your own eco friendly slime? Then look no further… the fab Vicky of local charity Wicked Weather Watch has given us the only recipe you will need to keep the kids occupied on a rainy afternoon!
Over recent years a craze for making slime has swept the globe, buoyed by social media (a quick look at YouTube tells me that some of the top slime vloggers have more than 2 million followers!!), the trend shows little signs of abating.
However, there have been numerous articles in the press about the potentially harmful ingredients found in slime, particularly borax (also known as sodium borate, a chemical found in cleaning products) which is often a staple of homemade slime as it helps create stickiness.
Parents warned over ‘toxic’ slime cautions the BBC in July. Which? tested some of the most popular slime products on the market and found eight had above the recommended levels of boron (the chemical found in borax). Exposure to unsafe levels of boron can cause irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, cramps and it is believed excessive levels can even impair fertility. Which? advised parents to ‘approach slime with caution’, even homemade slime as some ingredients – such as contact lens solution or laundry detergent – may contain sodium borate or derivatives of.
So, risk of skin irritation or even burns are all something we clearly want to avoid for our little ones, but safety concerns aside, what about the environment and thinking about the impact that slime may have on our wonderful world?
Glue is often a pivotal ingredient in conventional homemade slime recipes. Far from natural, even non-toxic products aren’t made to be in direct contact with delicate skin; and making glue-based slime recipes you’re basically creating a big lump of plastic that will take years to break down. Saying that we of course want to encourage curious and creative minds, there is something so satisfying about getting our hands dirty and trialling different recipes.
Judging by 8 year old girls of Bath, the slime craze is still going strong, so we decided to test out some of the many eco-slime recipes. Recommended by The Independent, we turned for inspiration to parenting blog Cool Mom Picks for a number of different recipes for safe slime – we opted for psyllium husk and chia seed recipes. It’s worth noting that the texture will be different, and this is obviously an important factor to our young slime alchemists!
Here we feature the simple psyllium husk recipe which proved the most successful…
You will need:
- A big microwaveable bowl
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk
- Food colouring
Place psyllium husk in a bowl and add food colouring, then add water and mix well. Micro on high for 5 minutes (we stopped halfway through and gave it a stir) and keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t bubble over. Once finished cooking, give it a couple of minutes as it will be HOT! Do please be careful! You may think it hasn’t worked but once you start stirring it should start coming together in a slime like consistency. Play with it straight away! It was great at first but then the kids had to rush off to a birthday party and by the time they came home, the texture wasn’t as good. Ours had a flubber like consistency, great fun, but didn’t stretch well. If you add more water and less psyllium husk you will get a more oozy slime.
We then tried the chia seed slime which was less successful. The lumpy chia seeds didn’t quite cut it compared to the preferred plastic shapes that children like to put into slime or vibrant glitter. You can now of course get your hands on biodegradeable glitter, yay!
We’re going to come back to these recipes, as well as other eco-friendly slime recipes on another wet weekend soon. Why don’t you let us know about any eco-friendly slime recipes you’ve made successfully or more importantly have been a hit with the kids, and please do share any pics with us – we’d love to get some new ideas!
Wicked Weather Watch (WWW) is a charity that aims to provide clarity for children and young people about climate change and global warming and guess what… they do school visits! If you would are interested in having them visit your school then get in touch!